Welcome back to another day of NHL Predictions. Each day, Last Word on Hockey takes a look at the games that are happening and gives our predictions for each one, breaking down head-to-head and other factors that may play in. We also have a featured game of the day, which is considered must-watch TV. Today’s featured game is the Pittsburgh Penguins vs New York Rangers.
NHL Predictions: May 5th including Pittsburgh Penguins vs New York Rangers
Washington Capitals vs Florida Panthers
Series: Capitals 1-0 Panthers
The first game of this series defied the odds, with Florida only scoring two goals and Washington winning 4-2. Despite that, the second game in this series should break the early trend.
In a rare occurrence this season, Anthony Duclair, Sam Reinhart, and Jonathan Huberdeau were all absent from the scoresheet. Expect this to change in Game Two as the Panthers will look to even up the series heading back to Washington.
Prediction: Panthers win 5-1
Nashville Predators vs Colorado Avalanche
Series: Predators 0-1 Avalanche
The Predators were seen by many to be the worst matchup of the first round (outside of the top seeds). But with Juuse Saros injuring himself just prior to the playoffs, this hasn’t held quite true; and also shows just how vital he is to the success of Nashville. Without Saros, the Preds suffered a brutal 7-2 loss in Game One.
With Saros almost certainly out for the second game of this series, it is hard to see any sort of change in fortune for Nashville. Expect Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen to continue what they started in Game One, scoring at will.
Prediction: Avalanche win 6-2
Dallas Stars vs Calgary Flames
Series: Stars 0-1 Flames
This is quietly one of the most mismatched series of the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Stars were relatively good this season, but the Flames have really been nothing short of red hot. When you have two 100-plus point scorers, you’re bound to go places.
It would be easy to say that Dallas will have something to prove, which they most certainly will, but don’t expect that to change the outcome. Calgary is going to continue to ride the ever-reliable Jacob Markstrom and will see their 100-plus point players in Johnny Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk lead them to another impressive win.
Prediction: Flames win 4-2
Pittsburgh Penguins vs New York Rangers
Series: Penguins 1-0 Rangers
The first game of this series was, and this is putting it lightly, a wild ride. Starting a series with a triple-overtime game that saw 151 total shots on goal and seven goals is absolute insanity. Igor Shesterkin put in a 79-save loss and Casey DeSmith and Louis Domingue combined for 65 saves in total. Goaltending masterclasses.
While it would be great for views to see that happen again, it would be unrealistic to expect anything like that. That being said, it would be hard to see New York not give Shesterkin the nod again, and if they shore up their defensive abilities, they should even up the series at one win apiece.
Prediction: Rangers win 3-2